Editor's Note: Paul Sacco is the head football coach at St. Joseph High School in Hammonton, New Jersey. Coach Sacco and his Wildcats really get after it in the weight room. Coach Sacco practices what he preaches by being an active powerlifting competitor himself. Recently, he set world records at the Master's Level (Age 40-44) in the 165 pound class with a 600 pound Squat, a 370 Bench and a 505 Dead Lift. This is quite remarkable as Coach Sacco recovered from a severe injury last year. Coach Sacco believes in asking no more from a player than you are willing to give yourself. He has proven this time and time again in his relentless pursuit of excellence and success.
One cannot help but be impressed with the strength and achievements of the St. Joseph players. They are not huge nor will many get Division I scholarships but pound for pound they are among the very best in the United States.
Paul Sacco: There is only one way to describe the kind of hard work, determination and dedication that it takes to produce a successful program in South Jersey and that is RELENTLESS! The St. Joseph High School weightlifting and football programs are known for their "relentless" thirst for success and victory. The students who sign up for football know they will be required to make a commitment to a program that accepts nothing less than 110% at all times.
These young athletes are required to maintain a discipline that puts them above the rest both on and off the playing field. It is demanded that every football player be in the weight room three days per week. No exceptions! The players take this demand seriously. If you make doctor's appointments, make them after lifting. If you sprain an ankle, then work your upper body. There has never been an excuse for which I don't have an answer.
St Joseph High School in Hammonton, New Jersey is a small Catholic School that has approximately 110 boys in grades 9-12. Year after year, in spite of very small numbers and usually very small kids, St. Joseph has maintained a winning tradition that has sent them to the playoffs thirteen years in a row. They have won Sectional, League and or State Football Titles ten of those thirteen years.
I believe the weightroom plays a big part in the football success. It is my philosophy that boys gain strength, learn discipline and gain confidence from their time in the weightroom. Combine this with an unbelievable dedicated coaching staff, good diet, rest and team work and the St. Joseph Wildcats are always a tough team to beat. Our program provides strict nutritional guidelines for our boys and in some cases this includes Bigger Faster Stronger Super Weight Gain. Our training outside the weightroom includes form running, speed rope training and plyometric training all with Bigger Faster Stronger products. We feel these are yet another edge we have on our competition.
The success of the football team is just the tip of the iceberg of St. Joe excellence. The winning tradition is carried over to the very powerful and successful Powerlifting team. This group of 9 to 11 athletes are the cream of the weightroom crop. They have successfully captured the New Jersey High School Championship eleven of the past twelve years. Most recently, four of our kids placed nationally in a meet at Baton Rouge, Louisiana with two 2nds, a 4th and a 5th place finish. They are hard working and dedicated athletes that continue to prove if you work hard and believe....you can achieve.